Retailers have guidelines for new locations

There is nothing arbitrary in the corporate world. This means Destiny Dickinson, which is looking to recruit retailers, has its work cut out. Logos are created to give a company a certain image and advertisements are made to attract particular au...

There is nothing arbitrary in the corporate world.

This means Destiny Dickinson, which is looking to recruit retailers, has its work cut out.

Logos are created to give a company a certain image and advertisements are made to attract particular audiences.

Real estate, which is the corporate term for a piece of land to turn into a shop, is no different.

"Our stores are destinations, so people drive a lot more miles to come to our stores," said Martin G. McDonald, director of conservation and a public relations staff member for the Bass Pro Shop. "The preference for us is to have an iconic look off of the interstate. We don't want to hide the store."


Not only do retailers have general ideas -- like by an interstate -- but most often they have exact specifications.

McDonald said their stores range from 130,000 to 300,000 square feet. He said the company also considers what the demographics are within a 50-mile and then a 100-mile radius.

"We look at the number of hunting and fishing licenses sold, ease of accessibility," McDonald said.

Lara Lacey, executive assistant for real estate at Big Lots, said the company specifically looks at the strength of the trade area before opening in a new location.

"We look for a population of 50,000 to 100,000 people within a 3-mile radius," Lacey said via e-mail.

Lacey said while Big Lots, a general store, is expanding this year, the company is not targeting the northern Great Plains region.

"We don't have any plans to expand (our pharmacies) in North Dakota; we have one in Fargo and we don't plan to expand any more at this time," Walgreens spokesperson Carol Hively said.

Vice President for Real Estate and Property Management Dorman Leighty said Big 5 Sporting Goods does not yet have a strategy to move into the state. He said the sporting goods store is currently in 10 states.


Calls and e-mails to a number of other retailers were not returned; although a Trader Joe's grocery store representative said as a privately owned company, its policy is not to comment on how it runs the business, including how locations are selected.

Good News

It's not all bad news, though, for Destiny Dickinson, which is looking to recruit new businesses to the community.

"We also look at the enthusiasm of the community and what it sees for the future of development," McDonald of Bass Pro said.

Lacey said there could be special circumstances under which the company would try a new location.

"Atypical sites are taken into consideration and looked at on a case-by-case basis," Lacey said via-email.

Further good news is there are many companies that have franchise opportunities available across the country.

Salons Fantastic Sams and Great Clips, for instance, have franchise opportunities. Food vendors such as Dunkin' Donuts and Popeyes chicken do the same.


A few of them are even specifically looking to expand into or find franchises in North Dakota.

Another option

Privately owned companies have scientific game plans for moving into an area, while many franchise operations leave the door open a little bit wider.

Still, they have their own sets of specifications.

At movie retailer Blockbuster, requirements for a franchise include having a minimum net worth of $650,000 and a minimum liquidity of $100,000 for the first store. Franchise agreements are for a minimum of 10 years.

"Franchises have a little different criteria; they have a little more leeway," said Blockbuster's Jason Huggins, who is the director of lease administration.

Company spokesman Randy Hargrove said someone has the franchise for North Dakota. He said there are stores in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Jamestown.

"Then, it would be a matter of does the franchisee have responsibility for the state or part of the state?" Hargrove said.


Hargrove said if there would be an open franchise in the state, it would be up to a person interested in pursuing a store to fill out an interest form and provide information to the corporation.

The franchisee would also be responsible for the construction of the store, however, the company does provide interior design and fixture floor plans for the franchise locations.

"We know that there is a need out there," said Great Clips spokeswoman Margaret Jordan. "We have grown this company entirely through franchises."

Jordan said the Fargo and Grand Forks market is owned, and the franchisee has expressed an interest in moving west to Bismarck.

"He knows the Bismarck market is good for us, but he hasn't been able to find the type of real estate (we look for)," Jordan said. "We have not had any other serious inquiries otherwise, from people living in Bismarck or Dickinson."

Jordan said the easiest way to attract would-be franchises is through its franchise Web site - .

Jordan said even in the world of franchises, there are specifics as to size and location.

"In all honesty, we'd love to see the business grow up there," Jordan said.


Destiny Dickinson has been saying the same thing for months.

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